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N° 6 – Diminutives and augmentatives in the languages of the world

Deadline for sending in papers accepted: September 2010

The e-journal Lexis is planning to publish its sixth issue, devoted to Diminutives and augmentatives in the languages of the world, in October 2010.

People in charge of the issue
Lívia Körtvélyessy and Pavol Štekauer, P.J.Šafárik University, Košice, Slovakia.

Diminutives and augmentatives in the languages of the world

When Scalise (1984) came up with an idea of evaluative morphology as a third level of morphology, distinct from both derivational morphology and inflectional morphology, he gave an important impetus to the research in this field. By evaluative morphology we mean the use of morphological devices to express various aspects of the categories of diminutiveness and augmentativeness. These categories reflect various degrees of ‘deviation’ from what is intuitively viewed as the standard quantity - physical quantity as in Pipil wi:lu-tsín (bird-DIM) ‘small bird’; the quantity of quality as in Thai díi-dii ‘very good’; quantity of action as in Jaqaru jaych.k"a ‘to kill’ < jaycha ‘to beat, to hit’, and also hypocoristics, such as Slovak bežkať ‘run-hypocoristic’ < behať ‘run’; diminutives and augmentatives may have an ameliorative or a pejorative meaning.

While it was demonstrated by Stump (1993) and Katamba (1993), among others, that Scalise’s assumption is language-specific (for example, a special status of evaluative morphology in Italian and Bahnar, a Mon-Khmer language) rather than of universal nature, Scalise succeeded in pointing out the importance of this field of morphology.

There are nonetheless many issues still to be resolved concerning diminutives and augmentatives, including, inter alia:

  • the status of evaluative morphology within the morphological component;

  • the scope of evaluative morphology in terms of semantic categories;

  • synchronic and diachronic aspects of research;

  • evaluative morphology from the perspective of langue and parole;

  • the relation between the morphological and genetic type of language on one hand;

  • and the way of expressing evaluative categories on the other;

  • the typology of diminutives and augmentatives, and the related cross-linguistic research;

  • evaluative morphology and word-classes;

  • phonetic symbolism in relation to the categories of diminutiveness and augmentativeness;

  • homonymy/polysemy of evaluative affixes;

  • productivity of morphological processes (suffixation, prefixation, compounding, reduplication, etc.) used for the formation of diminutives/augmentatives;

  • evaluative morphology and recursiveness, etc.

Papers on any of these and other related issues are welcome for the 6th issue of Lexis.


  • Katamba Francis, Morphology, London: The MacMillan Press, 1993.

  • Scalise Sergio, Generative Morphology, Dordrecht: Foris, 1984.

  • Stump Gregory T., “How Peculiar is Evaluative Morphology?”, Journal of Linguistics 29, 1993: 1-36.

How to submit

Manuscripts will be written in English, and should be accompanied by an abstract (2 pages maximum) in English, as well as a list of the relevant key words. They should be sent to the Editor of Lexis, Denis Jamet as email attachments (Word or pdf), and will be refereed by two members of the international evaluation committee. Manuscripts may be rejected, accepted subject to revision, or accepted as such. There is no limit to the number of pages.

  • Deadline for sending in abstracts: October 2009.

  • Deadline for sending in papers accepted: September 2010.

Abstracts and articles will be sent via email at


  • April 2009: call for papers

  • October 2009: deadline for sending in abstracts to Lexis

  • November 2009: Evaluation Committee’s decisions notified to authors

  • February 2010: deadline for sending in papers

  • March to May 2010: proofreading of papers by the Evaluation committee

  • June to September 2010: authors’ corrections

  • September 2010: deadline for sending in final versions of papers.

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